Location: 160 kms from Bijapur, Karnataka
Famous For: Its Mosques and Bazaars
Best Season: September To February
Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English
Gulbarga is a unique synthesis of two cultures. Filled with beautiful palaces, mosques, stately building and bazaars.
The Khwaja Bande Nawaz, tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaja Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz is the venue of an annual 'Urs', attended by nearly one hundred thousand people. The Dargah Library houses almost 10,000 books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic.
Also worth seeing are Sultan Hasan's tomb, the tomb of Ghias-Ud-Din, the mausoleum of Feroze Shah, the Haft-Gumbuz, the well-kept lawns of Mahboob Gulshan and the Shrine of Shri Sharanabasaveshwara.
Gulbarga Fort: An extensive piece of work, the Gulbarga fort was originally built by Raja Gulchand and afterwards strengthened by Ala-Ud-Din Bahmani. The fort with its 15 towers and 26 guns has witnessed many a battle and suffered many an onslaught.
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Razed to the ground by Krishna Devaraya of Vijaynagar, it rose like a phoenix when Adil Shah undertook its repair with booty captured from Vijaynagar.
Khwaza Bande Nawaz Dargah:The most important monument in Gulbarga is probably The Khwaza Bande Nawaz Dargah. The tomb of the great Sufi saint, Khwaza Syed Mohammad Gesu Daraz, popularly known as Khwaza Bande Nawaz.
This is a magnificent building built in the Indo-Saracenic style. The Dargah is the venue of an annual 'Urs', which is attended by nearly one thousand people, both Hindus and Muslims.
Jumma Masjid: This huge mosque built by Feroze Shah, covering an area of 38016 sq. feet resembles the great mosque of Cardova in Spain. The architectural style is typically Persian, with stilted domes and narrow entrances.
Ganigapur: A few kms from Gulbarga is Ganigapur. Famous center of Dattatreya worship, this pilgrim center has the sacred math of Shri Narasimha Saraswathi. The confluence of the rivers Amreja and Bhima attracts many pilgrims who take a holy dip here.
A huge 'jatra' is held here every year in the month of February. The pilgrims popularly know this place as ‘Deval Ganagapur’.
Malkhed: A Jain center in the past, many Jain sculptures and bronzes have been found here. Malkhed is also famous for having produced two great personalities, namely, Tikacharya, the Madhava saint and Pushpadanta, the poet who wrote during the reign of Krishan II, the Rashtrakuta king.
Shorapur: Also known as Surpur, is the picturesque town on a ridge, surrounded by hills. It is dotted with temples, palaces, mosques and 'ashur-khanas'. An imposing fort is nearby. Taylor's Manzil, the residence of Col.
Meadows Taylor, an Englishman appointed by the British, as a political agent to the state is a beautiful building.
Sonthi: An important pilgrim center, Sonthi houses the renowned Chandralamba Temple with the sacred Bhima River flowing besides it.
On the either side of the main entrance are huge mantapas. In the inner courtyard are 12 lingas and the statues of Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi.
Narayanpur Dam: Across the Krishna River is a huge engineering feat. The Narayanpur Dam, inaugurated in 1982, is set among beautiful gardens.
Sharapur: This is a Buddhist center and the sleeping Buddha shaped mountain is worth seeing here.
Kembavi: 29 kms north west of Sharapur, this place is noted for its relations with Bahamani Dynasty. Annual 'Urs' is held here.
Air: The nearest airport is Hyderabad (220 kms)
Rail: Gulbarga is connected by rail with Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Road: Gulbarga is connected by road to: Hyderabad (220 kms) Bangalore (600 kms) Bijapur (150 kms) Bidar (110 kms) Basavakalyan (80 kms) KSRTC Buses ply from Gulbarga to Bangalore, Bijapur, Bidar, Raichur and Sholapur.